One of the banks that I use recently re-paved their parking lot. And it couldn’t have been a moment too soon.  I’ve been using the bank for a few years now and they’ve been great…service-wise.  However, when you went to their drive-thru ATM, at the exact spot you would stop in order to use the ATM, there was a huge pothole. And I mean huge. It was so deep, it felt you were going to bottom out your car if you weren’t careful. Sometimes, if you didn’t position your car correctly, it would make it difficult to reach the ATM to push the buttons. It was not a fun experience as you could imagine.

And the truth is that I hadn’t really paid attention to it that much until last week when I went to make a deposit. They fixed it!  They repaved the entire parking lot and fixed the pothole.  As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed that it was paved and then it hit me that I had actually stopped using their ATM unless it was after business hours.  Without making this decision consciously, I realized that I had started going into the bank to make deposits, just so I wouldn’t have to deal with their pothole.

Now the bank still got my money, eventually, but they inadvertently put a barrier between us.  The job of a company is to make it as easy as possible for your customers to give you money.  Because each little hoop they have to jump through, each little speed bump they have to overcome makes it that much more likely that they are going to look for someone else to fill their needs.

Take a look at your customer experience, from start to finish, and begin to identify if there are any potholes or speed bumps. Take an inventory of these trouble spots and start getting rid of them when possible.  If you can’t get rid of them, do what you can to minimize them.

John Ryan

Host of Key Conversations for Leaders Podcast, Executive Coach, Consultant, and Trainer

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